Katie Batten, MFA 2018

April 4 - 7, 2018

Opening Reception: April 6, 6-8pm





Artist Statement

I am an acrylic painter. The quick and the sticky feel far more familiar to those of us raised with the smell of plastic and the glow of the TV. Though my materials are contemporary, I pilfer from the canon, slithering through the long and varied history of painting. I might also be an arranger or a decorator, but I do not subscribe to those gendered distinctions.

When creating an image, my sources vary from moments big to small. I paint the purple of a butterfly at night; there is sensuality in how the subject and optics homogenize in the darkness. The sensuality can be an intimacy, a quiet exchange between viewer and object, but, it also acts as a reminder of the senses. I think there is pleasure, and maybe a kind of magic, in seeing shifts of color and temperature, seeing a surface that reveals what it would be like to be touched. Ideologically, I look to the watershed moments throughout visual history, like the snake in the garden of Eden. The devil leads the first woman to taste knowledge. Is it such a sin, a female curiosity?

Collage and montage disrupt and harmonize throughout the picture plane, collapsing fantasy with the painterly. Despite such interruptions, the image prevails. To me, there is generosity in representation. This is not to say that non-representational paintings are withholding; I do not feel like painting needs to be didactic nor oppositional. Ultimately, I am not interested in ironic distillations, but rather in the mirage-like aspects of the familiar.